Almost everybody has their own cellphone, tablet, and laptop these days, so when companies provide those things to their employees, they sometimes end up being redundant. Many businesses have long frowned upon the "bring your own device" (BYOD) movement for a number of reasons, but today's technology makes BYOD more feasible than it was even just a few years ago.
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"Implementing BYOD requires data to be available on cloud, and some people still feel apprehensive about it," says Fred Mouawad, CEO of Taskworld, an all-in-one software platform and mobile app that helps companies implement BYOD programs. "Although this might have been a genuine concern when cloud computing was in its infancy, modern day cloud technologies are as safe as any other alternative."
"BYOD might also result in some employees not keeping their devices up to date or not using proper security measures," Mouawad adds. "This can be solved by educating employees about BYOD policy and carrying out frequent IT audits."
Some might worry that employees would bring inefficient or unsecure devices into the workplace, putting company data at risk.
"BYOD doesn't mean that the company loses complete control over the devices being used in its premises," Mouawad explains. "Companies need to formulate IT policies that revolve around using personal devices at work. The IT department should formulate a plan to carry out tech audits at frequent intervals to ensure that all devices are duly updated. HR should provide guidelines urging employees to proactively update their own devices. Modern day cloud technologies offer automatic updates and real-time feature releases. This has made companies more confident about the quality of devices used by its employees."
Size Doesn't Matter
The reasons to switch to BYOD vary for differently sized companies.
"Smaller companies are tight on budget, therefore BYOD is an excellent way to reduce their operating expenses and fixed costs," says Mouawad. "A large number of smaller companies nowadays also don't have a physical office or fixed working hours, so BYOD allows people to access work from anywhere at any time. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) products give small companies a platform to compete with established players by using the same quality tools."
The big dogs benefit from BYOD as well through sheer monetary savings.
"Larger companies might have a lot more resources, but they can still save substantial fixed costs by implementing BYOD," Mouawad explains. "The larger the company, the more complicated it is to constantly maintain and upgrade devices. BYOD empowers employees to share this responsibility."
Mouawad also says that BYOD programs can help big companies get more collaborative.
"By using cloud technologies to centralize data in one secure place, organizations can break down bureaucratic barriers and make collaboration easy," he says.
The Top Four Advantages of BYOD
For those who still have concerns about implementing BYOD, Mouawad offers the following four advantages of the program:
1. It Offers Greater Flexibility and Comfort
Modern knowledge workers want the ability to access work from personal devices, which allows them to work with a higher degree of comfort. Because so many workers prefer to work remotely or with flexible hours, BYOD is a necessity. People often get great ideas at odd hours. BYOD allows them to make the most of these unpredictable bursts of productivity.
2. It Fosters 'Co-Entrepreneurship'
BYOD removes the distinction between personal and official devices. This might seem irrelevant on the surface, but it has been proven to have a deep impact on the psyche of employees. Using personal devices at work empowers employees with a greater sense of ownership. They feel more motivated to steer the company in the right direction.
3. It Creates Trust and Minimizes Resistance
In today's world of smartphones and wearable technology, our devices are considered extensions of our personalities. Therefore, rigid rules against using your own devices at work might be seen as an invasion of personal space. Allowing employees to access work from their devices builds trust and minimizes resistance.
4. It Reduces the Cost of Business
Cheaper devices and a plethora of cloud services have leveled the playing field for enterprises all around the world. Encouraging people to bring their own devices allows companies to save money on hardware and invest more in software and marketing.